Russian Urals crude is now entering Venezuela at a rate of 335,000 barrels per day to supply PDVSA's refinery in Curacao.
So far this year, Caracas has purchased 3 million barrels of Urals crude from Swiss trader Glencore.
Four tankers are scheduled to reach Curacao from Russian ports just this month, trading sources said.
PDVSA has been the contractual operator of Curacao for many years, but the contract is set to expire in 2019. Shell, the facility's owner, has said PDVSA will not be the facility's operator beyond the existing contract due to its failure to meet contractual obligations to perform upgrades.
According to OPEC's Monthly Oil Market Report published this week, secondary sources - the ones the cartel uses to monitor compliance and official stats - pegged Venezuela's crude oil production in January 2018 at 1.6 million bpd, down by 47,300 bpd compared to December 2017. This was the largest monthly decline in oil production among OPEC's 14 member states. Venezuela, allowed to pump as much as 1.972 million bpd under the deal, surely did not make that cut voluntarily - its economy is collapsing and oil production has been in freefall for months now.